Yes, I’ve waited well over a year for the chance to use this blog post title. It’s here –today I’m 22!
My favorite part about my birthday is reflecting on where I thought I’d be by now this time last year. I’ve always had this thing with thinking and planning ahead. I can remember being 16 thinking that 22 was so far away, so old and out of reach. But now it’s here and I realize that I’m just getting started.
The best is yet to come.
My birthday wish is to make the next 365 days in this 22nd year count. I want to try new things, meet new people and see new places. A lot changes for me this year. I graduate college and embark on a new journey filled with enough uncertainty to drive even a less anxious person crazy.
Am I ready? Sure. Excited? Most definitely. Nervous? Totally.
I’ve learned and grown so much over the past year. I’ve had really high ups and really low downs…but I don’t think I’d change a thing. Because life really is all about living and learning.
I want to focus on 22 big lessons I’m taking from my last 22 years today.
1. It is incredibly important to do something that makes you wildly happy and brings you great peace. Can I be mushy for a moment? Blogging, being a blogger, getting the chance to dump the contents of my mind here and engage with all of you is my jam. The hours I get lost in tweaking posts, responding to comments and writing (yes, mostly the writing. always the writing) gets me zen. You must have something that brings you pure contentment, or you will go insane.
2. Busy means nothing. There have been so many articles recently about ending the glorification of busy. Lot’s of people are doing lot’s of things but many of them are getting no where and have nothing to show for it. Hmmm.
3. Don’t be afraid to mess up, make mistakes and start over.
4. Don’t fake it til you make it, just do it your way until it feels really right. On the eve of my 19th birthday, I remember thinking that I was no where near ready to be in my twenties (LOL at uber dramatic freshman year Amber). I know now that it’s not about faking anything or becoming anything it’s about doing you the absolute best way that you can. Make mistakes, learn, repeat.
5. Ask questions often, but always seek out your own answers.
6. Don’t let any moment, person or thing define you that you don’t want to.
7. Be okay with letting go of what was for what might be. Change is good.
8. Trust that things amazing beyond measure are going to happen to you. You have to believe this.
9. You have one body, be nice to it.
10. Create your own successes. Every “no” you receive is an opportunity to create your own “yeses” in life.
11. You can have it all, you can do it all –but not all at once and not alone.
12. Be genuine and transparent but not foolish. Protect yourself but don’t be cold.
13. Heartbreak can fuel passion beyond measure and lead you to unimaginable joy and breakthrough.
14. Don’t be afraid to say no to others and yes to yourself.
15. If you don’t like something and have no true intention to change it, don’t complain.
16. Evaluate the people you let into your life often. I love the quote — “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Choose wisely.
17. Move when you’re inspired. My #1 tip for getting things done is to do it the moment you are moved to and don’t stop until it’s done.
18. Eat breakfast every day and consistently drink water #H20.
19. It’s okay to decide that someone can’t be in your life anymore.
20. Good (read: best) friends are like good jeans –precious and rare.
21. Be intentional with your time. Make moments count.
I had a tough time coming up with lesson 22, but I’ve decided and truly know that it can be summed up in this quote…
22. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.